Girls’ dignity and pride were the topics of discussion at Robis, Lungi when GirlsPlus Sierra Leone held a talk with students at the Sengbe Pieh Academy.
Robis is a low-income community in Lungi, where families struggle to afford basic household materials and education for their kids. The Sengbe Pieh Academy is a free school for girls founded by Joseph Kaifala with the aim to help educate young girls in the community by providing them with quality education.
GirlsPlus hosted the engagement with respect to the Black Tuesday Movement with the theme “What It Means To Be A Girl, My Pride, My Dignity”. Child rights advocate Marian F. Kargbo was the guest speaker.
Kargbo explained the menstrual cycle, period poverty, and sexual rights.
“Some girls don’t know the importance of menstruation, when they experience it they sometimes feel less because they don’t know how to take care of themselves. Also, others don’t have access to sanitary pads, and some don’t even know how to use the pad,” said Marian F. Kargbo.
She encouraged the girls to stand firm and be in a position to make decisions for themselves.
“As a girl if you know who you are (pride), you will be able to carry your life along with all odds, no one will be able to determine what you should do or say, because you already know what you stand for,” Kargbo narrates.
A student who attended the engagement said the discussion was beneficial.
“I am now aware that when I am on my period, I should take good care of myself, and also, the preventive measures I should take from getting infected by certain diseases,” said Angella George, 16, an SS2 pupil at Sengbe Pieh Academy.
The proprietor Joseph Kaifala explained how such engagements help students.
“I am happy that the team from GirlsPlus is here to educate these young girls about their sexual rights, menstrual cycle, and period poverty. This is something these girls needed but as a man, I am unable to educate them on these because they don’t feel comfortable talking to me about these topics,” said Kaifala.
Kaifala said that the girls could use the knowledge they’ve learned to be peer educators in their communities.
GirlsPlus is an initiative by the Asmaa James Foundation whose sole aim is to lead community interventions to educate citizens on comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights.
GirlsPlus works with government agencies, private and nonprofit organizations, activists, and development partners to make Sierra Leone better and safer for girls so that no girl is left behind.
Black Tuesday Movement was founded in 2019 as a direct response to the high rates of child rape and sexual violence in Sierra Leone. Half of all women from Sierra Leone will be sexually or physically abused or both in their lifetime. A majority of the country’s rape victims are children under the age of 15, according to reported rape data from Rainbo Centre.